Surviving the War in Syria

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 8, 2020 - History - 246 pages
It is estimated that of Syria's pre-war population, over half have been displaced from their homes, some having moved abroad and many remaining in the country despite the threats posed by civil war from Bashar Assad's government, ISIS, foreign intervention, and a proliferation of rebel groups and militias. Despite this, migration is just one option out of a broad set of potential self-protection strategies available to civilians, with other strategies including fighting, protesting, collaborating, or hiding. In this study, Justin Schon emphasises that civilian behaviour in conflict zones includes repertoires of survival strategies, instead of migration alone. Providing a microanalysis of civilian self-protection strategies during armed conflict in Syria, Schon draws on ten months of fieldwork in Turkey, Jordan, Kenya, and the United States, with over two hundred structured interviews with Syrian refugees. Exploring how civilians select specific survival strategies, their motives and opportunities, he reveals questions which have the potential to guide new research on civil wars, and affect how we think about other survival strategies, from political, violent, to environmental threats.
 

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Contents

How Civilians Protect Themselves
1
A Theory of Civilian Survival Strategies
19
Interviewing Syrian Refugees
47
Who Has Violent Experiences? The Reinforcing
85
How Psychological Transformations Change Conflict
101
How Wasta Provides Opportunity to Act Safely
113
Why and How People Share Information during Conflict
130
Choosing When to Migrate
150
Conclusion
175
Appendix
195
Bibliography
202
Index
231
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About the author (2020)

Justin Schon is Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Florida, where his work focuses on the modelling of migration, armed conflict, and development. He is the author of articles in the Journal of Peace Research, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Refugee Studies, Civil Wars, International Interactions, Political Geography, and Journal of Social Structure.

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